Associate professor Shayla Thiel-Stern's new book hit shelves in June 2014. "From the Dance Halls to Facebook: Teen Girls, Mass Media, and Moral Panic in the United States, 1905-2010," explores how, historically, teen girls have been marginalized by the media.
Her research examines four time periods dating back 100 years: the late 1920s and early 1930s when girls starting taking part in sports; the 1950s, when Elvis was first on television; the late 1970s and 1980s with the punk-rock movement and today, with the advent of social media. "I would like for this research to shed more light on how teen girls are portrayed in the mass media and how that can lead to sexist stereotypes for both girls and women," Thiel-Stern said. "My analysis has demonstrated that mass media can construct a reality that isn't real, which has implications for how people conduct not only journalism, but advertising and marketing as well."
The book centers on another important theme: moral panic and how teen girls are commonly at the center of panic and perceived corruption -- from the Beatles to Snapchat"There is a cultural overreaction to something that is perceived as deviant," Thiel-Stern said. "People shouldn't be so worried about young people, especially with today's use of social media."